In February of 2017 I broke a vertebrae in my back. I never thought that breaking my back would actually turn out to be a godsend. The broken vertebrae revealed that I had a tumor in the vertebrae that caused the break. Through the process of having a biopsy of the tumor I learned that it was cancer. I quickly started radiation and had a total of 20 treatments to shrink the tumor. I soon realized that this journey had only begun. My next step was having a bone marrow biopsy. The results showed that I have Multiple Myeloma. It is a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells in my bone marrow. I just completed my 1st month of weekly chemotherapy treatments that will continue for the next 4-8 months. At that point I will hopefully have a bone marrow transplant to increase my chances of remission.
I tried to continue teaching after breaking the vertebrae and starting radiation, but it became too much. I depleated all of my sick leave and I had to take an unpaid leave of absence from work starting March 1st. Being without my income for several months has finally taken its toll on my family financially. In addition to regular expenses, my out of pocket medical expenses for the hospital, doctor, and medicine copays have been over $1500 so far.
God willing I will return to teaching in the fall as I continue this long road of treatment. In the meantime, any donations that can be provided to help with the cost of weekly trips to Birmingham for treatment, copays, and living expenses would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for donating!!
- Mark and Lynne Kemp
- Judy Roberts
- Ralph and Vickey Ellison
- Mikey Copeland
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